In Multipolarity, Turkey / Türkiye

New Cold War.org, Sept 26, 2016

The following three news articles report on the Sept 21-24, 2016 visit to the Kurdish region of northern Iraq (southern Kurdistan) by a delegation of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) of Turkey. The delegation was headed by HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş.

HDP Delegation Meets Masoud Barzani to ‘Strengthen Kurdish Unity’

Published in Kurdish Question, Sept 21, 2016

On Sept 22, 2016, delegation of People's Democratic Party of Turkey meets leaders of Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq (southern Kurdistan)

On Sept 22, 2016, delegation of People’s Democratic Party of Turkey meets leaders of Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq (southern Kurdistan)

A Peoples’ Democratic Party delegation led by co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş began its 4-day visit to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq today with a meeting with KRG president and Kurdistan Democratic Party leader Masoud Barzani.

On arrival, Demirtaş made a statement at the aiport and said, “Of course the joint message of all Kurds and Kurdish movements to the world is one of peace. Within this framework, all our political movements need to remain committed to internal fraternity and give a message of unity and peace, which I believe will strengthen all of us. For this reason we believe it is important to discuss developments in the region and world with Mr. Barzani and other parties.

“The biggest desire of the Kurdish people in the four parts of Kurdistan [Iraq, Iran, Syria , Turkey] is to see the Kurds, Kurdish leaders and parties standing side by side.”

In a series of feeds on Twitter, the HDP said that recent developments in the region were discussed in the three-hour meeting and the parties exchanged views on various matters, including a democratic solution to the Kurdish issue and solidarity among Kurds through finding common ground.

Following the meeting, the KRG presidency also released a statement saying: “President Barzani warmly welcomed the delegation and stated that he hopes that the peace process between the government of Turkey and the large Kurdish population will resume for the benefit of all Kurds and Turks.

“He added that it is only through peaceful means that the Kurds of Turkey can further obtain their cultural and political rights.

Selahattin Demirtaş, co-chair of Peoples Democratic Party of Turkey

Selahattin Demirtaş, co-chair of Peoples Democratic Party of Turkey

“Mr. Demirtas thanked the President for his past and present efforts at supporting the peace process in Turkey and agreed that the fighting for the rights of the Kurds should be done politically and inside the Parliament building in Ankara and not at the expense of the lives of Kurds and Turks.

“President Barzani and Mr. Demirtas also spoke of the current efforts by the Kurdistan Region Government to eliminate the terrorists of the Islamic State. They also spoke of the situation in Syrian Kurdistan, expressing their hopes for a brighter future for the people of Rojava.”

The HDP delegation is expected to visit several political parties and organisations in the KRG, including the PUK, Goran and Kurdistan Islamic Union.

The visit comes following the seizure of elected Kurdish municipalities in Turkey by state-appointed administrators. Commentators say this is the beginning of a new period that could see the arrest of some HDP parliamentarians, including the party’s two co-chairs, Mr. Demirtas and Figen Yüksekdağ.

In addition to Selahattin Demirtaş, the HDP delegation is comprised of Women’s Assembly Spokesperson Besime Konca, deputy co-chair Fatma Kurtalan, deputy co-chair and Van MP Nadir Yıldırım, Istanbul MP Celal Doğan, Amed MP Imam Taşçıer, Mardin MP Mithat Sancar, Amed MP Nimetullah Erdoğmuş, Urfa MP Osman Baydemir and Party Assembly (PM) Member Abdullah Alagöz.

Sources: Kurdish Question, DIHA News Agency


HDP delegation continues meetings in Kurdistan Region

Published in Kurdish Question, Sept 23, 2016

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) delegation visiting the Kurdistan Regional Government met with Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Deputy General Secretary Barham Salih in Erbil yesterday evening. The two parties discussed recent political developments in Kurdistan and the Middle East emphasised the importance of continuing such meetings between different Kurdish parties in the future.

Barham Salih described the co-chair of the HDP, Selahattin Demirtaş, as as a “symbol” of the Kurdish struggle in Turkey. “This is the era of the Kurdish nation, and its cause can no longer be resolved through oppression, exploitation and war,” Salih said.

“On the world stage, Kurdish rights are eyed with respect,” he added, saying that “in the twentieth century, Kurds endured suffering and persecutions.”

“The visit by Mr. Selahattin Demirtas and his accompanying delegation to the Kurdistan Region has its own significance. Demirtas has become a great symbol of Kurdish civic and democratic struggle… Demirtas and his friends are working hard to obtain Kurdish rights,” in Turkey, he added.

Mr. Demirtaş commented on the importance of their visit saying, “All Kurdistan land and the Kurdish people are going through a sensitive and historic time, when in many areas there are tensions.”

“Unfortunately, all four parts of Kurdistan are under a big threat, therefore all the four parts should have an agreement, and we want such an agreement in the interest of the Kurdish people,” he said.

The delegation, which includes several HDP MPs, also met with Kurdistan Islamic Union (Yakgrtu) Party General Secretary Ali Bapir today.

Following the meeting, Bapir said, “The delegation’s attempts for unity are very meaningful and sacred. We must foresake our own small gains for the bigger gains of Kurdistan.”

Thanking the Kurdistan Islamic Union for their efforts in contributing to the visit Demirtaş stated, “Neighbouring countries shouldn’t be afraid of Kurdish unity. Our alliance is not against Arab, Persian or Turkish nor other states.”

The delegation had also met with Masoud Barzani and Nechirvan Barzani yesterday and convened with Kirkuk Governor Dr. Necmeddin Kerim and later former PUK leader Jalal Talabani and Hero Ibrahim Talabani, today.

No press statement was made following the meeting with Talabani.

Sources: ANF, Rudaw.


Demirtas asks Barzani to help restart peace process

Turkish Minute, Sept 24, 2016

Chairman of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas has asked the leader of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Massoud Barzani, to help restart the peace process between the Turkish government and the Kurds, during a visit to the region.

In a recent visit to Irbil, Demirtas met with Barzani as the KRG leader had reportedly promised to exert efforts for restarting a settlement process that was aborted following the June 2015 elections in Turkey.

Demirtas reiterated that the Kurds’ only demand is to live freely in their own land, while Barzani stated that the only solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey was dialogue.

During his four-day trip to the KRG, Demirtas along with a delegation from his party also met with former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

Meanwhile, according to a report from Rudaw, the Iraqi Turkmen Front criticized a visit by the delegation to Kirkuk, saying that Kirkuk should not become part of the political calculations of Kurdish parties due to the unique nature of the city.

Related reading:
Democratic Union Party (PYD) of Syria in Europe convenes 8th congress in Brussels, published in Kurdish Question, Sept 25, 2016

The 8th Congress of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) Europe began in Belgian capital Brussels yesterday. The congress, which will last two days, is being attended by 700 delegates, 135 of whom are women, from across Europe, Scandinavia, Greece and Bulgaria…

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